More VMware acquisitions on the horizon? CTO says 'maybe'

Don't expect another big deal, but VMware may pick up some companies to help integrate all of its end-user computing products, CTO Kit Colbert says.

BOSTON -- VMware may not be done acquiring companies as it seeks to round out its EUC portfolio.

Kit ColbertKit Colbert

In the past seven months alone, the server virtualization pioneer acquired desktop as a service provider Desktone and enterprise mobility management vendor AirWatch, the latter for $1.5 billion. Any future deals will be smaller and designed to help VMware integrate its products together, said Kit Colbert, the company's CTO for end-user computing (EUC).

"We're not going to do another AirWatch-level, $1.5 billion type of thing, but are we going to do small things where it makes sense? Maybe -- if the situation arises," he said.

Colbert sat down for an interview here at this week's IEEE Rock Stars of Mobile Cloud Conference, where he also spoke about competition against Citrix and integration between VMware's EUC and core infrastructure management products.

Are there any gaps in VMware's mobile portfolio that the company still needs to fill?

We're trying to be the Switzerland of the EUC space.

Kit Colbert,
VMware EUC CTO

Kit Colbert: I don't think there's any major gaps. We've done a lot of integrations between [the products], but maybe what we're missing is that deeper level of integration -- the next step to really make it totally seamless for the end user. And as part of that, we realize that we may need to do, maybe, a couple tuck-in acquisitions here or there. So that's one thing that we're constantly evaluating: Does it make sense to build it ourselves, or do we partner, or do we go and buy something?

Are there any other challenges you see the company facing?

Colbert: Sure. Let's be honest: Citrix has been doing this for many, many years, and they have many, many loyal fans and customers. Inertia is a really powerful force. So we definitely think that Citrix is a formidable competitor. We think that Amazon's a formidable competitor. We think that Microsoft in many ways is a formidable competitor as well, even though we do a lot to support their operating system and applications.

We're trying to be the Switzerland of the EUC space, which means that we really want to be able to support everything that a customer has. The challenge for us is to support customers where they are today, but at the same time, be able to demonstrate to customers the superior value of our products.

More Q&A with Kit Colbert

Check out Part 1 of this interview, where Colbert talks about improving Unity Touch, the future of ThinApp, and VMware's new remote published applications.

How does VMware plan to further integrate its EUC offerings with its traditional infrastructure and management products?

Colbert: One thing that we announced as far as the Horizon 6 launch was this ability to now have View integration with vCloud Automation Center. Instead of having a user file a ticket to get a View desktop, a user can now go to vCAC and just click a button. What IT can do is set up their policies ahead of time, so someone from IT doesn't have to be in the loop.

Are there connections that you can make between the automation in vCAC and mobility management?

Colbert: For sure. The idea of personalization is really key here. That's the great thing about vCAC. The self-service interface allows the user to personalize themselves. They don't have to call IT and ask for something special.

Out of these 50 or 100 applications that IT has entitled me to use, I actually want only these four or five. I can just go through vCAC, provision just the ones I need. And that way, the user gets just what they want, and IT only pays for the apps the user is using, unlike today's model, where if you have this one image for everybody, everyone has to have a license for that, even if they're not using it.

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